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Corey D. Silverstein on Protecting Adult Creators Amidst Texas Fifth Circuit Ruling

SWCEO Interviews Corey D. Silverstein

Blog Post Written By: MelRose Michaels

 

Understanding the legal landscape is paramount for adult creators and companies in an industry where legislative and policy changes can significantly influence operations. The recent Fifth Circuit ruling regarding Texas' age verification law has sent ripples throughout the adult industry, raising concerns.


Corey D. Silverstein, the adult industry's premier IT attorney since 2006, represents websites, hosts, processors, ad networks, and more. He is the founder and managing partner of the law firm Silverstein Legal, the best source for legal representation relating to the adult industry. Additionally, he founded adult.law, a low-cost monthly membership service for adult entrepreneurs to access legal resources and expertise, a robust library of legal, policy, and business information that speaks to the specific needs of those working in the adult industry, along with regular updates and briefings on new policies and case law, as the legal landscape of the adult industry is constantly in flux.


MelRose Michaels, an independent adult creator and the visionary behind SexWorkCEO, sat down with Corey in a recent Twitter Space to discuss the Texas age verification lawsuit, the Fifth Circuit Court, and what it means for the adult industry.



MelRose Michaels: The adult industry is in a state of flux due to shifting legislation and policy. What's your perspective on the importance of understanding these changes?


Corey D. Silverstein: Thanks for having me, MelRose. It's critical. Changes like Texas's enforcement of age verification laws impact businesses significantly. For instance, Texas pursued Pornhub aggressively, marking a worrying precedent. It's vital for businesses to stay vigilant and adapt quickly to ensure safety and legality in their operations. The FSC's (Free Speech Coalition) move to challenge this to the Supreme Court showcases the urgency and severity of the issue.


MelRose Michaels: With the "bandwagon" that Texas seems to be on, what's the broader landscape like?


Corey D. Silverstein: It's not just Texas; about 16 states have joined this legislative movement, and it's a mix of the usual conservative suspects and some surprises. The troubling aspect is we're re-fighting battles we've already won in the Supreme Court. These laws are a front for a far-right agenda to control adult content under the guise of protecting children, which contradicts previous Supreme Court rulings.


MelRose Michaels: Why is it so significant in industry discussions focusing on the Fifth Circuit decision?


Corey D. Silverstein: The Fifth Circuit's ruling is currently the authoritative decision on age verification laws. If the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, we're left with a conservative ruling that could wreak havoc. With one dissenting judge against two, we're seeing a clear ideological divide and its repercussions on the adult industry.


MelRose Michaels: How could these state laws impact individual creators?


Corey D. Silverstein: Directly and severely. Every creator with a website is at risk, just like large platforms. The potential fines—$10,000 per day—are not trivial. The situation calls for urgent and informed decisions from website operators on compliance, geo-blocking, or other solutions, considering Texas's recent suits against major adult platforms.


MelRose Michaels: What could these legislative trends mean for broadcast platforms, and what might the ripple effect be for creators?


Corey D. Silverstein: These laws blanket all adult-oriented platforms, regardless of their service model. Decisions like Pornhub's geo-block of Texas are a tell-tale sign. Content creators may face reduced income due to decreased traffic, a repercussion they need to prepare for, given the size and influence of the Texas market on the industry.


MelRose Michaels: What proactive steps can industry professionals take amid these challenges?


Corey D. Silverstein: Information is power. Join the FSC, stay informed through industry news, and sign up for legal alerts from sources like my site, myadultattorney.com. Open dialogue about these issues is necessary, as silence can be mistaken for compliance or agreement with these oppressive laws.


MelRose Michaels: How might these issues extend beyond the industry to platforms like HBO or social media?


Corey D. Silverstein: They're somewhat insulated due to the proportion of adult content they host, which is likely below the threshold that these laws target. However, it raises important questions about content moderation and the extent of government interference that could potentially affect them in the future.


MelRose Michaels: What are the expectations and concerns with the Supreme Court as the next potential battleground?


Corey D. Silverstein: The immediate future hinges on whether the Supreme Court will hear the case. We're saddled with the Fifth Circuit's stance if they don't, which could significantly set back First Amendment rights. This crucial juncture demands the industry's full attention and action.


MelRose Michaels: What advice do you have for creators, especially considering the potential loss of income and legal exposure?


Corey D. Silverstein: Creators need to scrutinize their site statistics, adjust their business strategies, and consider the legal implications of operating independently. While platforms may offer some protection, the responsibility ultimately falls on the individual in these circumstances.


MelRose Michaels: How can the community rally together and take action on this issue?


Corey D. Silverstein: Engagement is key. Support the FSC, be vocal on social media, engage with politicians, and spread awareness. Every voice counts in shaping policy and public opinion, especially when our freedoms are at stake.


MelRose Michaels: Could you remind us where we can subscribe to your legal alerts?


Corey D. Silverstein: Certainly. Visit myadultattorney.com and scroll to the bottom to sign up. It's vital to stay updated with credible information. These alerts aim to equip everyone with the knowledge to navigate these treacherous waters.


 

Some parts of the above interview have been condensed or edited for clarity. Listen to the entire Twitter space for the full interview with Corey D. Silverstein.


Follow Corey D. Silverstein on Twitter.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the interview are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SexWorkCEO or MelRose Michaels. Anything said or written is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone else.



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